Spring 2007 (Vol. VIII, No. 2) Table of Contents
- from the Editor
- From the President
- Interview with Paul Mills of AuctionExplorerBooks
- Book-Buying in Middle America, or, A New York Dealer’s Visits to Three Middle American Cities
- Ephemeral Assays: Jumpin’ Jehovah
- Book review: Bookstore: The Life and Times of Jeannette Watson and Books & Co
- Anyone for the Forsythe Saga?
- Cathy Graham and Serena Wyckoff of Copperfish Books, LLC
- Pros and Cons of AbeBooks.com for Buyers and Sellers
- Paul Mills of Clarke’s Africana & Rare Books
- Tami W. Zawistowski of Resource Books, LLC
I’m Tami Zawistowski of Resource Books, LLC, based in East Granby, Connecticut, USA. Resource Books offers its books almost exclusively online, with our current stock numbering about 7500 books dating from 1582 to 2006, with most from between the 1850s and 1950s. We also offer some ephemera and select accessories—unusual bookends and inkwells, other reading and writing related objects—anything that would look at home in a personal or institutional library. While our focus is mainly non-fiction, we also stock children’s books, literary classics, some modern first editions, special illustrated and limited editions, and signed copies.
Resource Books, LLC has been in existence for eleven years. The business started in the days when the Internet was not a part of everyday life. Waiting for the weekly issue of AB Bookman to arrive, scouring its long columns of Books Wanted and sending out quote cards to dozens of prospective buyers was time-intensive and resulted in few monetary rewards. Instead, I focused on renting space in antiques malls and smaller shops—up to ten at one point—which proved a better option. All of this changed with eBay, which was my introduction to online book sales, and eventually evolved to listing books on AbeBooks and then several other bookselling venues. Believing that an organization addressing the specific needs of booksellers who offered their stock mainly online was necessary and beneficial, Resource Books, LLC joined IOBA in 2004.
I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember, and starting a book business after dropping out of corporate life in the mid-1990s was a great alternative to the demands of corporate politics and a heavy travel schedule. I had experienced a long career in banking and commercial real estate valuation, and earned the MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute, the principal international organization for real estate appraisers. My most recent position in business was Executive Vice President and Chief Appraiser for Northeast Savings, F. A., a large thrift based in Hartford, Connecticut. After completing work there, I spent a year in academia as Assistant Director of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Economic Studies at the University of Connecticut. I’ve also taught courses and lectured on real estate related topics throughout the United States.
Throughout my business career, however, I sustained a love a books and an omnivorous reading habit. The book habit had deep roots—I had volunteered at my old hometown library in Stafford Springs, Connecticut back when I was in high school, running summer programs for children, etc. While earning a B. A. in English at the University of Connecticut, I worked in the university library. The wide variety of courses I took during college provided an excellent interdisciplinary background which helps significantly in dealing with the broad range of subject matter we now offer. And then there were the little things that I never thought would come to much—two years of Latin and Russian language, a family who loved travel, and an elementary school teacher who instructed her class to use Roman numerals to date their papers each day. I would never have guessed how valuable that skill would be.
In the summer of 2006, we moved Resource Books into a new building. The design was created specifically for books and for items bought and sold by my husband, Ed Zawistowski, who owns Gallery One. Ed has bought and sold original artwork, antique estate jewelry, coins, stamps and other antiquarian items for more than twenty years. Since our home is more than two hundred years old, we took care to design the new building in a style that would harmonize with its Old New England charm. Designed in a modified Cape Cod style, it contains more than 2,000 square feet on two floors, and has a full basement, heat and central air conditioning. The building was engineered to withstand the heavy weight of a large number of books, and the open floor plan allows optimal arrangement of the bookcases which contain consecutively numbered boxes (a system that we find works well for keeping the books organized). The very short commute (about fifty feet), paired with bright new surroundings, provides a very pleasant work environment.
I take personal satisfaction in connecting the right books to the right people, and love to hear stories about why my customers are so happy to find a particular book. I’ve also enjoyed dealing with international customers, and we list our books on ZVAB/Choosebooks (based in Germany), AntiQbook (Netherlands) and AbeBooks (Canada) as well as Alibris, Amazon, IOBAbooks, Froogle and our own website, www.resourcebooks.net. We also occasionally list on eBay, mainly ephemera, as well as a variety of high quality jewelry presentation boxes.
Tami Zawistowski manages Resource Books, LLC out of East Granby, CT and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the Independent Online Booksellers Association Website